Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Snapshot In Leftovers (The Bento Post, Sort Of).

A couple of thoughts-lately I have been on a campaign to improve my life in small ways. One way of actualizing this has been my work lunches. One of my core beliefs has to do with avoiding convenience food, well really unnecessary convenience itself-why not do things yourself & do them well rather than buy a cheap, quicker, lesser version (blah blah blah yes I hate fast food & most restaurants really, I am a do-it-yourself-kind of gal). & of course I am generally pretty broke. I work in a grocery store, where it is easy to spend money on food everyday, but I have been successfully strict for a while now about bringing my lunch always, the problem is frequently I am lazy before bed & my lunch is therefore lame, lots of random crap from the fridge thrown into tupperware with no style or taste logic. 
I spend a lot of time in life doing things that take work because I value the outcome, i.e. cooking a decent dinner every night & growing as much food as I can & canning & preserving as much of that as possible. So why not bring this level of value of life to my work lunches? Exactly. 
I have been reading the Adventures in Bentomaking blog for years, & have always been inspired by it, but never acted on it. I've owned this adorable lunch box with cute compartments for years too (free sample from a previous job) but never use it. 
So this week! Adorable Bento-Style lunches! 
The thing is, I draw these imagines & sit down to paint them, & while I am watercoloring, sometimes my mind wanders. So this post to me now is more about leftovers & grocery shopping creatively on a budget, less about my own adventures in Bentos. Still a great blog, though. 
First, Four Recent Bento-esque Lunches. 

What these lunches make me think about is how telling they are of our recent life in food. The great thing about the boxes is that they are tiny, & perfect for small amounts of weird former meals in the fridge that you don't want to throw away but aren't enough for a meal. Seriously, I am really cheap & I hate to throw out food. Why haven't I always been doing this?
So these lunches are a product of the last week of dinners in our lives (& dinners are the emotional heart of this home of course). They create a picture, & this is what it looks like: a cheap giant bag of broccoli from Price Rite, New England Chinese Night based on a super sale at Stop & Shop last week on crab meat & pork, the Stop & Shop sale last month on lamb stew meat that led to lots of lamb in the freezer, a recent trip to the Asian Market for affordable peppers, ginger, lemongrass, & cilantro,  last Saturday's family journey to New Bedford where we picked up good Fall River Linguica on the cheap at Friendly Fruit, & those jars of green tomato pickles in the fridge. 
The Grocery Store really tells you everything you need to know about a person. Equally their leftovers. So here are mine. Judge me as you will.

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